Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers Kirsten Miller
First off, I need to offer a great big THANK YOU to all that is good in the universe for FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY giving us another Kiki Strike book. IT HAS BEEN FOREVER.
And, has the wait been worth it? Oh yes, yes it has.
Kiki is off to Pokrovia to claim her crown and renounce it, officially supporting the democracy that has sprung up. When she leaves, she leaves Ananka in charge of the Irregulars.
In New York, Ananka and Betty stumble across the L'Institut Beauregard, a finishing school for New York's finest families. Ananka is already aware of them--every year they turn more of her classmates in zombies, completely draining them of their interesting personalities.
Meanwhile, Kiki doesn't make it to Pokrovia-- she's been kidnapped in Paris, but happens to meet two interesting young men with very extensive knowledge of the catacombs. While Amelia Beauregard takes Betty to Paris to help investigate a mystery from WWII, and Kiki and her friends are investigating more recent disappearances, the Irregulars at home are figuring out why Oona's been banned from every shop in Chinatown and trying to defeat an evil pharmaceutical company. Of course, there's still that bit about Kiki's kidnapping and Pokrovia's future as a democratic nation.
I love, love, love how Betty really comes into her own in this one. None of the other irregulars really trust her, because she's the nicest of them. But when she's in Paris, she's more or less on her own and has to prove what she's made of, and she has to decide how she does it. It's really well done. Actually, there's a lot in this one about the dynamics of the group and their relationships with one another. It's been so long since the last one, I can't remember if that's normal or not. All I know is that I love it.
I also loved the exploration of another city's underground. I loved the change in location and mysteries and secrets of the Paris catacombs (which, unlike the underground city that the Irregulars frequent in New York, is actually real.) I also like how much takes place in the catacombs that the tourists don't get to see.
The history buff in my appreciates that the older mystery was just as important as the recent ones-- it's never too late to solve a mystery.
I am not sure how I feel about the cover redesign (they're rereleasing the others as well in the new style).
Fans will not be dissapointed. I can only hope/pray/wish that there is more, and it is coming soon.
ARC Provided by... a friend, who knows how much I love Kiki. (THANK YOU DAVID!!!)
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